Raising awareness

Atrial Fibrillation is often thought of by clinicians’ as a silent condition, with no symptoms to alert the patient of its presence, and as a result it often remains undiagnosed and untreated.

The public tend to be less aware of AF than other cardiovascular conditions such as Diabetes or Hypertension, and many do not associate a heart rhythm disorder with the increased risk of stroke.

Raising public awareness of AF is key to highlighting the associated dangers, its link to stroke and the importance of a regular pulse rhythm check. There are several charitable organisations that aim to do this through campaigns, public events and advertising. They also deliver an advocacy role on behalf of AF patients and their families. These organisations have a wealth of resources on their websites, from ideas on how to deliver a local awareness campaign, to support for newly-diagnosed patients and their families. Links to their website can be found in the additional reading section.

The Arrythmia Alliance and AF Association organise Heart Rhythm week every June and AF Awareness week every November, these worldwide campaigns are a chance to catapult AF
into the public consciousness and campaign on behalf of AF patients to local authorities and governments. Their “Know Your Pulse” campaign encourages the public to be aware of their own pulse and for manual pulse checks to be included in routine clinical assessments.

The resources in this section will provide many examples of how AHSNs and our NHS partners have been working to improve public awareness of AF. These are simple, cost effective and impactful ways to engage with the public on the topic of AF, they can be replicated nationwide and may just make the difference in preventing an AF-related stroke.

Featured Resources

Know Your Pulse: Raising awareness to reduce atrial fibrillation-related strokes for the public and health professionals

The Innovation Agency, North West Coast Academic Health Science Network has run several campaigns to help highlight awareness of Atrial read more

AF Raising Awareness Scratch Card

This scratch card developed by North East and North Cumbria AHSN is designed for use in community pharmacies and community settings to ... read more

BHF Link – checking your pulse

How to check your pulse. You may be able to tell if you have a regular or irregular heart beat by checking your pulse. This is ... read more

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